Coffee break in space
The first espresso in space was brewed by an Italian. It had to be. Just as the first orbital sushi must be rolled by an astronaut from Japan and the first cosmic toad-in-the-hole baked by a Brit not a Spaniard. It makes sense that the force of national pride should still be felt at an average speed of 27,600km/h, whilst gripped by the force of a planetary centrifuge. Orbiting every 92.69 minutes, the International Space Station swings by Italy fifteen times in twenty-four hours, a repeated reminder of the homeland, its greatness, its ingenuity, enshrined in the Italian-made ISSpresso machine engineered for micro-gravity environments.
But why on earth would you need a little caffeine ‘‘pick-me-up’’, a quick ‘‘high’’ when riding a habitable, artificial satellite with jaw-dropping views (if jaws drop in zero-G) of our vast celestial marble cruising the black tarmac of space? Craving an ISSpresso because 250 miles isn’t high enough, fifteen sunrises a day fail to perk you up, and an unhindered view of deep space doesn’t give you the buzz you’re after, says that the most uncharted terrain, the most unfathomable of depths is human desire.
‘‘To boldly brew . . . espresso in orbit with Italian barista.’’ Manawatu Standard, May 6
Samantha Cristoforetti, wearing a Star Trek uniform enjoys an out-of-this-world ‘Nasa-cafe’ espresso from a special zero-G cup on board the International Space Station.